Primary and secondary gliosarcomas: clinical, molecular and survival characteristics

J Neurooncol. 2015 Nov;125(2):401-10. doi: 10.1007/s11060-015-1930-y. Epub 2015 Sep 9.


Gliosarcoma is classified by the World Health Organization as a variant of glioblastoma. These tumors exhibit biphasic histologic and immunophenotypic features, reflecting both glial and mesenchymal differentiation. Gliosarcomas can be further classified into primary (de novo) tumors, and secondary gliosarcomas, which are diagnosed at recurrence after a diagnosis of glioblastoma. Using a retrospective review, patients seen at MD Anderson Cancer Center between 2004 and 2014 with a pathology-confirmed diagnosis of gliosarcoma were identified. 34 patients with a diagnosis of gliosarcoma seen at the time of initial diagnosis or at recurrence were identified (24 primary gliosarcomas (PGS), 10 secondary gliosarcomas (SGS)). Molecular analysis performed on fourteen patients revealed a high incidence of TP53 mutations and, rarely, EGFR and IDH mutations. Median overall survival (OS) for all patients was 17.5 months from the diagnosis of gliosarcoma, with a progression free survival (PFS) of 6.4 months. Comparing PGS with SGS, the median OS was 24.7 and 8.95 months, respectively (from the time of sarcomatous transformation in the case of SGS). The median OS in SGS patients from the initial diagnosis of GB was 25 months, with a PFS of 10.7 months. Molecular analysis revealed a higher than expected rate of TP53 mutations in GS patients and, typical of primary glioblastoma, IDH mutations were uncommon. Though our data shows improved outcomes for both PGS and SGS when compared to the literature, this is most likely a reflection of selection bias of patients treated on clinical trials at a quaternary center.

Keywords: Gliosarcoma; IDH mutation; Primary gliosarcoma; Secondary gliosarcoma; TP53 mutation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Brain Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Brain Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Brain Neoplasms / pathology
  • Brain Neoplasms / therapy
  • ErbB Receptors / genetics
  • ErbB Receptors / metabolism
  • Female
  • Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein / metabolism
  • Gliosarcoma / genetics*
  • Gliosarcoma / mortality*
  • Gliosarcoma / pathology
  • Gliosarcoma / therapy
  • Humans
  • Isocitrate Dehydrogenase / genetics
  • Ki-67 Antigen / metabolism
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mutation / genetics*
  • Neoplasm Proteins / genetics*
  • Neoplasm Proteins / metabolism
  • Retrospective Studies
  • S100 Proteins / metabolism
  • Survival Analysis
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / genetics
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / metabolism


  • Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein
  • Ki-67 Antigen
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • S100 Proteins
  • TP53 protein, human
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53
  • Isocitrate Dehydrogenase
  • IDH1 protein, human
  • EGFR protein, human
  • ErbB Receptors